Graduate Teaching and Learning Program

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to better understand and navigate the Graduate Teaching Learning Program, please review the frequently asked questions below.

 

  • General GTL Program Questions

    Q: What are the benefits of completing the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) Graduate Teaching and Learning (GTL) Program?

    A: There are three key reasons to complete the GTL Program training: learn to be a more effective teacher, be more competitive in the job market as there is an increase in teaching requirements, and all employers are looking for people who are excellent communicators. 


    Q: Is the GTL Program mandatory for graduate students who are teaching?

    A: No. However, each department has different teaching requirements for graduate students. Please check with your department's graduate administrator.


    Q: How do I get started in the GTL Program?

    A: Simply find a GTL Program session you are interested in, RSVP and attend the session. To view the schedule and RSVP to a session, please click here or refer to the FGSR Calendar here. Additionally, you can sign up for the Professional Development E-Bulletin which will promote upcoming GTL Program sessions, by clicking here.

    Q: Do I have to complete GTL Program Level 1 and Level 2?

    A: No. Your investment in the GTL Program should be based on your own personal goals.


    Q: What is the difference between GTL Program Level 1 and Level 2?

    A: Level 1 provides an overview of skills and concepts required for teaching at a post-secondary level and requires 15 hours of GTL sessions to be complete. Level 2 is a more in depth investment focusing on student learning, teaching experiences and has four components to complete which include: pedagogy, practicum, mentorship, and documentation. These two courses can be completed in any order.


    Q: When are the GTL sessions offered?

    A: The majority of sessions are offered during the GTL weeks that take place twice a year during the beginning of January and at the end of August/beginning of September. Stand-alone sessions are offered throughout the year. To view the schedule, please click here or refer to the FGSR Calendar here. Additionally, you can sign up for the Professional Development E-Bulletin which will promote upcoming GTL Program sessions, by clicking here.


    Q: Can I take any sessions online for credit?

    A: Yes. You can complete MyGradSkills teaching courses online for GTL Program Level 1 and GTL Program Level 2. MyGradSkills offers four of these one hour courses and and include: Lesson Planning, Teaching Dossiers, Teaching Online Advanced Facilitation Skills for Graduate Students and Teaching Online: Basic Skills for Teaching Assistants. To learn more, please click here.


    Q: Can Post-Docs participate in the GTL Program?

    A: Absolutely. Post-doctoral fellows can receive a letter for any partial or completed GTL Program levels. Please request a letter by e-mailing Charity Slobod at cslobod@ualberta.ca.


    Q: Who can participate in the GTL Program sessions?

    A: Graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and the campus community at large.


    Q: Is there a cost for the GTL Programs and sessions?

    A: No. All GTL Programs and sessions are free to graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and the campus community at large.


    Q: Do FGSR GTL Program Ethics sessions count for both Ethic's credit and the GTL Program requirements?

    A: Yes. If you take a GTL session, which is also identified as an ethics credit session, it will count as an ethics credit and a GTL credit. Consult with your department's graduate administrator to ensure the ethics session meets your department's specific requirements.


    Q: Will I receive anything for completing the GTL Program?

    A: If you complete GTL Program Level 1 you will receive a letter of completion. If you complete GTL Program Level 2 you will receive a letter of completion and a notation on your transcript. (Please note: Post-Doctoral Fellows are not eligible for the transcript notation.)  Letters of completion will be sent automatically by the GTL Program administrator when you have fulfilled the requirements.


    Q: Should I keep track of my GTL sessions that I attend?

    A: Yes. Students are encouraged to keep track of the GTL Sessions they attend.  

  • GTL Program Level 1

    Q: How do I register for GTL Program Level 1?

    A: Simply find a GTL Program session you are interested in, RSVP and attend the session. To view the schedule and RSVP to a session, please click here or refer to the FGSR Calendar here. Additionally, you can sign up for the Professional Development E-Bulletin which will promote upcoming GTL Program sessions, by clicking here.


    Q: How do I complete the GTL Program Level 1?

    A: You need to attend 15 hours of FGSR GTL Program sessions before your graduate program ends. Sessions vary in length of time. You will receive a letter of completion listing all the sessions you have attended once you have met the 15 hour requirement. (Please note: Sessions from the Centre for Teaching and Learning do not apply.)


    Q: How long will it take to complete GTL Program Level 1?

    A: 15 hours. 


    Q: Do I need to complete Level 1 before beginning Level 2?

    A: No. You can commence with Level 2 before completing Level 1. Please note that if you have more than 15 hours of sessions from FGSR the remainder will be taken into account for Level 2. 


  • GTL Program Level 2

    Q: What are the requirements for completion in GTL Program Level 2?

    A: There are four elements of the GTL Program Level 2 which are required to be complete:
    • Pedagogy: Minimum of 25 hours of pedagogical training with five written reflections. This training can be completed by taking GTL sessions. (15 hours from GTL Program Level 1 count towards the 25 hours.)
    • Practicum: Includes a minimum of 72 hours of post-secondary teaching experience accumulated either as a primary instructor, teaching assistant, or through various teaching opportunities. See options below for fulfilling this requirement.
    • Mentorship: Receive mentor, peer, and student observations of your teaching. You will also provide peer observation which creates a dual opportunity to understand what is learning in the classroom, as well as how teaching can be effective.
    • Documentation: Submission of a Teaching Record Book and teaching dossier to a mentor. Find these documents here.


    Q: How do I get credit for the "Practicum" component of the GTL Program Level 2?

    A: The "Practicum" component includes a minimum of 72 hours of post-secondary teaching experience accumulated either as a primary instructor, teaching assistant, or through various teaching opportunities. See options below for fulfilling this requirement:
    • Option 1: Take FGSR Practicum Course (counts as 50 hours) and obtain remaining 22 hours through a combination of guest lectures, a lecture and marking, or a variety of of teaching activities.
    • Option 2: 6 hour Teaching Assistantship
    • Option 3: 72 hours of post-secondary teaching experience. If you want confirmation that your experience meets the requirement, please contact Renee Polziehn at rpolzieh@ualberta.ca.


    Q: What is the GTL Practicum Course?

    A: The Graduate Teaching and Learning Practicum Course is an optional way that participants can meet their GTL Program Level 2 "Practicum" component requirement. The Practicum Course runs for 3 hours/week for 13 weeks. In addition to the class time, participants (postdoctoral fellows and graduate students) are expected to spend approximately 1 hour/week outside of class completing their course project and providing peer feedback. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive 50 teaching hours towards the practicum component of the GTL Level 2 Program. 


    Q: What can I expect to learn in the GTL Practicum Course?

    A: The Graduate Teaching and Learning Practicum Course is a project-based course designed to provide an in-depth introduction to the fundamentals of teaching in higher education. Find a full list of topic areas and relevant course information by clicking here.


    Q: How do I register for the GTL Practicum Course?

    A: Registration opens 6 weeks prior to the course. FGSR handles all registration requests. Please subscribe to the FGSR Professional Development E-Bulletin, and the Grads Weekly Digest for registration information. This course fills up very quickly. Please register early to avoid disappointment.


    Q: Who can do my GTL Program Level 2 Peer Observations and how do I find them?

    A: Attend a Peer Observation Training session. At these Peer Observation training sessions participants are given access to a Google doc where you can be paired with an observer.This training session is offered multiple times during the start of each term. You will be notified via the FGSR Professional Development E-Bulletin and the Grads Weekly Digest about when sessions are offered.


    Q: How can I find my teaching mentor(s)?

    A: Some departments/faculties have a GTL Coordinator who can help you find a mentor. Otherwise, Lab Coordinators, Language Coordinators, and course instructors are common mentors. You can also ask your supervisor, professor emeriti, an instructor from another department, or you may want more than one mentor. Postdocs and fellow graduate students cannot be considered mentors.

      

    Q: Does teaching at another university count towards GTL Program Level 2?

    A: Unfortunately any teaching experience obtained outside of your University of Alberta graduate program does not apply towards the GTL program. However, please make sure you mention all your teaching experience in your teaching dossier.

     

    Q: What documents need to be complete in order to show that I have completed GTL Program Level 2?

    A: GTL Program Level 2 Teaching Record Book and GTL Program Level 2 Signature Form. These are located here.

     

    Q: I have my GTL Program Level 2 documents assembled; what are my next steps?

    A: Have your GTL Coordinator, and mentor(s) ensure you have met all the GTL Program Level 2 requirements by reviewing your the GTL Program Level 2 Teaching Record Book and signing the GTL Program Level 2 Signature Form. These are located here. Please note: If you don't have a GTL Coordinator your mentor will be responsible for reviewing all requirements in their entirety. If you do have a GTL Coordinator, they will confirm that you have fulfilled the pedagogy and practicum component and your mentor will confirm that you have put together your teaching dossier. After you receive your stamp of approval submit your GTL Program Level 2 Signature Form to FGSR to confirm you have completed GTL Program Level 2.